Surveys like the Eurobarometer and the ROSE study (The Relevance of Science Education) shed light on how adults and young learners relate to many aspects of S&T. The ROSE study is a joint comparative project among science education researchers. It has gathered data from 15‐year old learners in schools in more than 40 countries from the whole world. The Eurobarometer studies have similar data from adults in European population. The Eurobarometer‐studies are the largest surveys in the world. Since early in the 1970's, they have provided the European Union with information on how Europeans look at important aspects of political, cultural, educational and economical nature. The recent survey on "Europeans, science and technology" was performed in 32 European countries and provides detailed information on a series of important issues.

The paper is a presentation and analysis of the results, with special emphasis on similarities and differences between countries and between men and women in each of the countries. Questions that will be addressed are the following: To what extent are people interested in science, compared to other issues? What kinds of science are they interested in? What role do they see for S&T and research in a social and political setting? How well do they trust scientists compared to other groups? What fields do they consider to be scientific? What is the level of factual knowledge about science in different countries? What moral and other obligations do they think scientists have? How do they relate to environmental challenges? What do young learners think about their encounter with school science?

Some striking differences between attitudes among learners in rich and less wealthy countries are noted. There are also striking differences between attitudes of the adults and the young generation, in particular in the most modernized countries, like Northern Europe and Japan. This may be an indication of a possible generation shift in how the future public relates to science and technology.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Interests, attitudes and perceptions of science and technology
A possible generation shift

Svein Sjøberg   University of Oslo

Camilla Schreiner   Norwegian Centre for Science Education

Surveys like the Eurobarometer and the ROSE study (The Relevance of Science Education) shed light on how adults and young learners relate to many aspects of S&T. The ROSE study is a joint comparative project among science education researchers. It has gathered data from 15‐year old learners in schools in more than 40 countries from the whole world. The Eurobarometer studies have similar data from adults in European population. The Eurobarometer‐studies are the largest surveys in the world. Since early in the 1970's, they have provided the European Union with information on how Europeans look at important aspects of political, cultural, educational and economical nature. The recent survey on "Europeans, science and technology" was performed in 32 European countries and provides detailed information on a series of important issues.

The paper is a presentation and analysis of the results, with special emphasis on similarities and differences between countries and between men and women in each of the countries. Questions that will be addressed are the following: To what extent are people interested in science, compared to other issues? What kinds of science are they interested in? What role do they see for S&T and research in a social and political setting? How well do they trust scientists compared to other groups? What fields do they consider to be scientific? What is the level of factual knowledge about science in different countries? What moral and other obligations do they think scientists have? How do they relate to environmental challenges? What do young learners think about their encounter with school science?

Some striking differences between attitudes among learners in rich and less wealthy countries are noted. There are also striking differences between attitudes of the adults and the young generation, in particular in the most modernized countries, like Northern Europe and Japan. This may be an indication of a possible generation shift in how the future public relates to science and technology.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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